CARSON, Calif. – Through their first six games of the season, the LA Galaxy eked out just five goals. In the last two games, however, they’ve scored five more.
“Our passing has gotten a lot better,” Landon Donovan told MLSsoccer.com, “so we want to make sure that part keeps improving.”
Against Portland last weekend, the Galaxy looked like the offensive juggernaut many had predicted of them before the year began. Donovan scored two goals, David Beckham and Juan Pablo Angel each had an assist and newcomer Chad Barrett banged in a cracking goal as well as LA overwhelmed the helpless Timbers, 3-0.
The match before, Barrett and Omar Gonzalez found the back of the net in a 2-1 win at Chicago.
That the team was able to sort through the offensive issues without Donovan and Beckham in that match – Donovan was out injured, while Beckham was suspended because of yellow-card accumulation – shows that what matters most is not who is pulling the strings, but that the strings are being pulled.
Having some confidence helps as well.
“We’ve been pretty confident in the attacking third and even though early on we weren’t scoring goals, we were creating a lot of chances,” Galaxy forward/midfielder Mike Magee said. “If we keep that same mind frame in taking chances, being dangerous, not being scared to lose the ball in the final third, we’re going to keep scoring goals.”
Even though the offense has produced some goals and generated plenty of scoring chances, there is still work to be done.
“It’s not perfect,” Donovan said. “There were parts of the Portland game that, if we would have been a little more patient and passed the ball, we could have gotten some more chances.
"That part’s been really good, our defending has been pretty solid and we’re just trying to improve. We’re trying to get better each week throughout the year.”
“We’re doing well," the veteran striker said. "We’re getting better, but it’s easy to get better when you’re winning."
Perhaps, though, the offensive boom is a natural byproduct of a team finally learning how to play with one another. Players such as Ángel, Barrett, Miguel López (two assists the last two matches) and Paolo Cardozo have all played in the last couple of games and are all newcomers to the team – the last two, newcomers to MLS in general.
With slightly more than three months working and playing together, the fruits of those labors are finally coming to fruition.
“You work on things, but until you get guys practicing consistently together, playing a little bit together, you never know how quickly that’s going to come about,” Donovan said. “The last few weeks it’s come about well but we still want to be better and keep getting better.”
The Galaxy take on FC Dallas on Sunday at Pizza Hut Park (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, FOX Sports West, Galavisión, lagalaxy.com/gamedaylive).
Watch: Galaxy players preview Sunday's match